With the first half of the season behind them and the playoffs looming, the Seahawks travel to Los Angeles to face the 3-8 Rams. While Seattle looks to steal a road win in the first of two matchups with a divisional foe, here are some connections between the two teams ahead of Sunday.
Bobby Wagner: Reuniting With A Seahawks Great
For the first time in a decade, linebacker Bobby Wagner will face the Seahawks as an opponent. Seattle selected Wagner in the second round of the 2012 Draft out of Utah State, and he went on to accumulate over 1,300 tackles during his decade tenure in Seattle, but most importantly the Super Bowl XLVIII champion became a leader and fan favorite.
Wagner spoke with Rams media this week regarding squaring off against his old team.
"You never really make a game too big or too little," Wagner, 32, said. "You never make like a Monday night game or Tuesday night game bigger or the opponent bigger because then it makes you inconsistent because you'll get up for one game, but then you won't get up for the next game. I'm personally just treating this game like it's a normal game."
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll discussed Seattle filling the void of Wagner's absence on the field and in the locker room.
"There's no replacing him," Carroll said. "He's a unique, one-of-a-kind guy."
While Wagner is stoic and focused on his return, Seahawks linebackers Jordyn Brooks and Cody Barton will look to continue to excel post-Wagner's departure.
Huskies in the City of Angels
The Rams active roster currently sports a trio of Washington Husky alumni - guard Coleman Shelton, defensive tackle Greg Gaines and safety Taylor Rapp. The Super Bowl LVI winners each earned All-Pac 12 honors as teammates in 2017. Rapp was the 2016 Pac-12 Defensive Freshman of the Year and Pac-12 Championship MVP.
Shane Waldron: Running the Show
In 2021, Shane Waldron left the Los Angeles Rams to become the Seahawks offensive coordinator. For the first time in a decade-plus coaching career across the collegiate and professional levels, Waldron got the chance to call the shots offensively in the NFL.
Through 12 weeks, Seattle ranks fourth in scoring (26.5 points per game), 12th in total offense (353.9 YPG), ninth in passing yards (235 YPG), and third in explosive play percentage, making an explosive gain (16-plus yard pass or 12-plus run) on 14 percent of offensive play. Waldron squares off against Rams coach Sean McVay - the man that hired him five years ago. Waldron spent 2017-21 in LA, ascending from tight ends coach to passing game coordinator.
Andy Dickerson: California Love
Seahawks offensive line coach Andy Dickerson is nearing 20 years in the field, joining the Washington Football Team as a camp intern in 2003. Nine of those years were spent as the Rams line coach, aiding in the franchise turnaround through the relocation years from St. Louis to Los Angeles.
In 2017, Dickerson's line helped the Rams go from the league's worst offense the year prior - to its best. In 2021, Dickerson joined the team to serve as run game coordinator. Now, he's coaching up the league's hottest rookie tackle duo - tackles Charles Cross and Abraham Lucas. After offseason uncertainty outside of the franchise from national media of what to expect in 2022, Seattle continues to shine on both sides of the ball. Particularly Dickerson’s offensive line, which continues to rise up the Pro Football Focus rankings.
Austin Blythe: Back In LA
Seahawks center Austin Blythe has helped lead the Seahawks' offensive line, starting all 11 games this year, but before he signed with Seattle as a free agent, he previously spent most of his career with the Rams, also spending one season each in Indianapolis and Kansas City. After spending his rookie season with the Colts, Blythe joined the Rams in 2017, and became a starter the next year, starting 47 games at both guard and center from 2018-2020. Blythe spent last year in Kansas City, then reunited with Dickerson and Waldron in Seattle this year.
The Seahawks were hard at work on Thursday at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center in preparation for Week 13 vs. the Rams. Seahawks practice photos are presented by Gatorade.